A lot of companies these days, unsurprisingly, play it safe when it comes to their content marketing. I mean, there are just so many pitfalls aren’t there? We’re basically petrified of offending anyone. But that doesn’t mean our content has to slip into a characterless coma of complacency.


Vikki Ross and Paul Mellor really walloped that dull old mass-produced nail on the head with their wonderfully perceptive Bland Book project:



What this basically means is, unless you want to end up like Bland AB or Totally Mundane Ltd, you’re going to have to make a bit of noise. And the simplest way to do that without stumbling into the quicksands of outrage is to find your brand’s unique sweet spot.


Now Swedish people are very good at this. They know instinctively when someone’s about to go too far. Because they rarely go too far themselves. And they can feel it in their bones when someone hasn’t gone far enough. Even if they probably wouldn’t do anything about it.


There’s a wonderful Swedish word for this phenomenon. They call it lagom.


Interestingly, most Swedes are actually proud of the word’s untranslatability. Mind you, they’re neither extremely proud nor only slightly proud. Obviously. They’re just the right amount of proud. Lagom proud. Not too much, not too little. Just proud enough.


And this funny little word permeates much of Swedish life. From the size of their coffee cups during the daily fika break to the amount of paid parental leave they enjoy. Although, at a whopping 80% for 16 months*, most non-Swedes would agree the latter is far from lagom! But that’s the thing about lagom, it’s all about understanding the boundaries for your particular target audience.


If you can do that, then you’ll have found your brand’s unique sweet spot.


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* Visit The Newbie Guide for more information about parental leave in Sweden.


Being a copywriter isn't all about fun adverts and funky slogans. It can be, but a lot of the work is actually quite serious and technical. Sometimes even a little bleak.



Now, we're fairly emotional people, us copywriters. It comes with the territory, I guess. So whatever it is we're writing about, it usually takes a slight detour through our hearts. Case in point... I recently came to the end of a particularly heartbreaking (and seemingly never-ending) project about terminal illnesses.


Just to be clear, I produce a fair amount of medical, pharmaceutical and healthcare industry content and it's not like you'll find me huddled under my desk bawling my eyes out every afternoon.


However. I do live and work in Sweden where, during the winter months at least, there isn't exactly an overabundance of sunshine and uplifting greenery about, which does kind of get to you after a while. And by about mid-January I'm usually experiencing a mild case of "Where's the ******* sun?!" or, as it's known in the Swedish medical community, a vitamin D deficiency.


And as I have no immediate intention of relocating to sunnier climes, I just have to deal with it. Which usually involves making sure there's plenty of healthy looking plants and fresh flowers in the office, regularly doing things that cheer me up, trying to avoid too many overly distressing or melancholic films and television shows (not easy when you live in Scandinavia), eating and drinking exactly what I fancy (yes, I do put on a lot of weight during the winter) and listening to uplifting, cheerful music every now and then. It helps. It really does.


But getting back to that project...


It was a heart-wrenching assignment, which just happened to coincide with my midwinter blues. I was actually fine for most of it, to be honest, but it did drag on. And by the time I had just a few days of work left, every hour was beginning to feel like five.


My solution?


More flowers!! Really really close to my face too, so I could see them. A non-stop, audible soundtrack of uplifting, cheery music. The minute I stepped into the office, the music went on. And of course, you guessed it, I upped my consumption of tasty treats (worth it).


So, if you're having a tough time with an assignment or project, and it's starting to get you down. Or if you can resonate with any of what I went through last month. My humble advice is to add a few little extra twinkles to your office or daily life. Things that make you happy, no matter how small. And try to avoid all that unnecessary melancholic stuff.


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